Microsoft Office SP2 Interoperability With ODF (Not)

Did Microsoft sabotage its much-vaunted ODF compatibility in its latest patch release to Microsoft Office so that it could claim to be compatible with other vendors' products (and OpenOffice) but in fact be utterly unable to share documents with them?

That's the thoroughly documented implication of An Antic Disposition: Update on ODF Spreadsheet Interoperability.

Of course, it's hard to believe that an ethical company would do anything of the sort, damaging its own customers in order to inflict pain on its rivals. No, no ethical company would do that on purpose. Must be an accident ….

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3 Responses to Microsoft Office SP2 Interoperability With ODF (Not)

  1. Never attribute to malice . . . .

    Hanlon’s Razor provides a perfectly good explanation of everything Microsoft has done for the past decade.

  2. Jonathan Allen says:

    Perhaps if ODF’s creators actaully bothered to create a spec for ODF Spreadsheet formulas Microsoft would implement it.

    As it stands, OpenFormula is still expected to be ready by Dec 2006. That’s right, they have done nothing for the last 2 1/2 years.

  3. michael says:

    That sounds very reasonable. Except….consider this quote from the document to which I linked:

    We might also hear concerns that supporting other vendors’ ODF spreadsheet formulas cannot be done because this formula language is undocumented. The irony here is that the formula language used by OpenOffice (and by other vendors) is based on that used by Excel, which itself was not fully documented when OpenOffice implemented it. So an argument, by Microsoft, not to support that language because it is not documented is rather hypocritical. Excel supports 1-2-3 files and formulas and legacy Excel versions (back to Excel 4.0) neither of which have standardized formula languages. Why are these supported? Also, the fact that the Microsoft/CleverAge add-in correctly reads and writes the legacy ODF formula syntax shows not only that it can be done, but that Microsoft already has the code to do it. The inexplicable thing is why that code never made it into Excel 2007 SP2.

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